Current Affairs Book Reviews

RESKILLING AMERICA by Katherine S. Newman
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: April 19, 2016

"A top-notch, highly accessible contribution to the business and popular economics literature."
Now that the tide of outsourcing employment has begun to turn, the time has come to think about how to reverse chronic unemployment among youth in the United States. Read full book review >
HOLY LANDS by Nicolas Pelham
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 12, 2016

"A lively, succinct, nonpolemical study that will offer much thought for discussion."
A sound, accessible argument for why returning to the mixed-faith communities living among each other in the Ottoman model might just save the Middle East. Read full book review >

THE LONG SHADOW OF SMALL GHOSTS by Laura Tillman
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 5, 2016

"A Helter Skelter for our time, though without a hint of sensationalism—unsettling in the extreme but written with confidence and deep empathy."
A haunted, haunting examination of mental illness and murder in a more or less ordinary American city. Read full book review >
A RAGE FOR ORDER by Robert F. Worth
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 26, 2016

"A crucial portrait of a deeply troubled region."
How the Arab Spring, begun in hope, has resulted in despair. Read full book review >
UNITED STATES OF JIHAD by Peter L. Bergen
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Thoughtful and sensitive, Bergen's book faces a nightmare scenario head-on."
A frightening survey of Islamic terrorists bred on American soil. Read full book review >

THE WAY OF THE GUN by Iain Overton
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 22, 2016

"A passionate mix of rhetoric and travelogue, Overton's book takes the gun debate into impressive new territory."
In Overton's first book, the British journalist travels the globe to see how the logic of the Second Amendment has affected people beyond America's borders. Read full book review >
CONSEQUENCE by Eric Fair
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 5, 2016

"A startling debut from a haunted individual who wishes he had left Iraq earlier 'with my soul intact.'"
A candid and deeply unsettling account of the author's work as a government contractor in Iraq charged with interrogating detainees in Baghdad, Fallujah, and Abu Ghraib. Read full book review >
MISSION FAILURE by Michael Mandelbaum
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 1, 2016

"A skilled, persuasive appraisal of a unique moment in our foreign policy history."
An international affairs expert charts America's largely unsuccessful foreign interventions over the past 20 years. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 19, 2016

"A well-documented, brave, and useful overview."
A journey through the Middle East in the post-Arab Spring landscape. Read full book review >
BLOOD YEAR by David Kilcullen
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 29, 2016

"Direct, insightful, and frightening, this book will prepare readers to see through the misguided, simplistic solutions to the problems of Middle Eastern policy and Islamic terror so common in this election year."
A "mid-level player in some of the key events of the past decade" delivers a dispassionate, discouraging analysis of how the Western counterterrorism effort has gone so terribly wrong. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 2016

"A must-read for military buffs and a should-read for anyone who has given even a cursory thought to the U.S. efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq."
The search for the story behind an IED death leads to the history of the post-9/11 wars and the lives of the men and women who fight them. Read full book review >
SMALL DATA by Martin Lindstrom
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Feb. 23, 2016

"Lindstrom's uncanny ability to detect and decipher seemingly unrelated clues will inspire reporters and detectives as well as companies looking for ways to develop new products and ideas."
A leading marketing guru recounts his firsthand experiences investigating the lives of consumers to develop global branding strategies. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >